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Merkel mentions canceling Israel visit if Bedouin village of Khan al-Ahmar is razed

Meetings have been pushed off for almost a year-and-a-half due to German disapproval of Israeli building in Judea and Samaria, and rejection of Israeli policy towards the Palestinian Authority.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference in Berlin on June 4, 2018. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a joint press conference in Berlin on June 4, 2018. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has threatened to cancel her visit to Israel if the government evacuates the illegal Bedouin settlement of Khan al-Ahmar before her arrival, according to an Israel Army Radio on Wednesday.

Merkel and a number of German ministers are expected to arrive on Wednesday evening to take part in governmental meetings, which were pushed off for almost a year-and-a-half due to German disapproval of Israeli building in Judea and Samaria, and rejection of Israeli policy towards the Palestinian Authority.

In May, Israel’s Supreme Court found Khan al-Ahmar to be an illegal encampment and ordered it to be razed, in accordance with Israeli policy on illegal building. As Israeli police and army services have been readying the site for dismantlement, pro-Palestinian activists have been appealing to European powers to halt the move.

Merkel is currently scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visit Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and receive an honorary doctorate from Haifa University, Merkel’s third honorary Israeli doctorate.

Meetings are expected to emphasize economy, innovation, technology, geopolitics, Iran and the Khan al-Ahmar village.

The Regavim Movement, a nongovernmental organization that advocates for Israel’s sovereignty and supports an evacuation of Khan al-Ahmar, encouraged Netanyahu to apply pressure on Merkel.

“Netanyahu’s meeting with Chancellor Merkel is an important opportunity that should not be missed—an opportunity to tell the Chancellor, ‘Genug ist genug!’ ‘Enough is enough,’ said Regavim spokesperson Naomi Kahn. “Netanyahu must demand that Germany immediately stop the flow of funds to illegal Palestinian Authority activities, including the creation of illegal outposts such as Khan al Ahmar.”

Merkel is not scheduled to visit with the Palestinian Authority.

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